What is it about?
Multiple bruises in children are either a sign of injury or a manifestation of a bleeding disease. Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is the commonest disease that causes a child to be covered with bruises all over the body. The hallmark of ITP is a low platelet count, the little sticky cells that clots up to stop a wound from bleeding. In my practice, there is another group of children who come with a disease that looks like ITP. But their platelet counts are normal, and so are other routine coagulation tests. When the blood cells are seen under the microscope, a peculiar observation is made. These children's platelets are abnormal. They lose their cellular content and thus appear gray. Therefore, I give this condition a name - Idiopathic Purpura with Gray Platelets.
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Why is it important?
Early and accurate recognition of this condition is important: (1) the condition will invariably resolve by itself and the diagnosis is often reassuring to the parents; (2) simple protective measures can be taken to avoid serious bleeding in home and school activities; (3) positive identification of the illness can spare the child from other potentially invasive but unnecessary diagnostic procedures.
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This page is a summary of: Idiopathic Purpura With Gray Platelets, Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, January 2019, Wolters Kluwer Health,
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